How to write papers / Series - Take note


Joan: Good morning. Why the heavy load? 

Laura (carrying a laptop computer): Pfff! Yeah, I’m really loaded down. I’m on the way to the university library to write a paper. By the way, do you think you could give me a few pointers on writing papers? 

Joan: Of course! 

Laura: I already know what I need to talk about, but … 

Joan: But what? 

Laura: Well, I really have no idea where to find the information, or how to shape it in the end. 

Joan: It isn’t that hard! Today, with computers and the Internet, you have some very helpful tools that make it much easier to write papers. 

Laura: Really? 

Joan: Sure, of course. Listen carefully to these guidelines, which you will need to bear in mind when writing a paper. 

Joan (voice off): 

  1. First, clearly define the subject of the project, the goals that you need to achieve and the contents to be presented in the final paper.
  2. Second, you need to find information to back up what you say in your paper: this is the research phase. The university libraries should be your first starting point, not only to consult books, but also to use the research databases, electronic journals and other resources that will help you conduct this research.
  3. Having a good command of the computer programmes that are used to write the paper will help save time, avoid errors and improve the presentation.

Laura: That’s sound advice, but isn’t there anything else?

  1. The paper to be submitted to the professors should reflect a learning process. Originality, creativity and the ability to relate ideas will all be more highly evaluated than simply copying and inserting the information you have found. Use your contact with the teaching staff to show them how your work is progressing and resolve any questions or doubts that may arise.
  2. Take care to use the appropriate writing style. Writing properly is one of the most difficult tasks. Check manuals on methods for scientific papers and the writing techniques typically used in your line of study.

Laura: Now it’s much clearer.

Joan: I’m sure it is.

Laura: So…

Joan (voice off). The following list also appears on the screen:

  1. First of all, you need to take care in planning out the different tasks of the paper: the approach to the topic of study, research, field or laboratory work, the writing of the paper and the final corrections. [Organization and planning of the paper]
  2. You need to have a good command of the new information and communications technologies in order to make the most of them. [Command of the new technologies]
  3. An academic paper is more than a simple compilation of information. It should also be viewed as a professional exercise that is supervised by the professors. [Learn while working]

Laura: I’ve got it!

Joan: It’s all a matter of making an effort and wanting to do a good job!

Universitat de les Illes Balears
Universitat d'Alacant, Universitat de Barcelona, Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona, Universitat de les Illes Balears, Universitat de València

Writing high-quality academic studies requires practicing the study methods and communication skills specific to each area of study. We offer you the elements we consider fundamental to getting the most out of your efforts and achieving better results.
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